Resolutions and reality checks

NOW that we have a whole year in front of us, greetings are still plentiful, and the mood makes me feel that we are all one big family with a single vision.

Some weeks have passed since and I thought it will be a good time for us to do a reality check on our resolutions and how we are coping with them.

We have a tough year ahead with a significant event looming over us. Dates are being bandied about and I am sure a lot of time and effort is being spent on negating rumours while the mudslinging keeps the media busy.

In the background, as commoners and wage earners we would have come up with New Year resolutions which may not be new but a repeat of those we weren't able to keep. We know that when the first week goes by, the days and nights would be dismembered and thrown in every direction and promises we make for ourselves would seem out of context.

Hence, the art of making a resolution and keeping it would be to first question if one is needed at all. If yes, make it simple, achievable and work on it with commitment and do a self-check regularly.

Put in place corrective measures if things are not flowing in the right direction and if you had been able to keep your resolutions, start with the next immediately.

As for me, I keep it straight and simple: to make a difference in whatever I do. Going the extra mile always helps in achieving this without compromising on other responsibilities.

If you are one of those who has fallen back on your resolution, you are not alone and that should make you feel better.

According to surveys and statistics from the US, the three top resolutions people usually make are on weight loss, exercise and to stop smoking. It has also been found that 75% of the resolutions are maintained past the first week and it drops to 71% after the second week and 64% after a month and it nose-dives after six months. The statistics reveal disturbing trends after the third quarter and we shall leave it as unknown, what we do not know will not hurt us.

As a nation, does Malaysia have a resolution? The politicians and the government servants should have a mutual resolution for the country and its people.

With ballot boxes being the focus, promises galore is in season. Do we blame the politicians or the people for believing what appears too good to be true? Regardless of party, politicians have one thing in common which is self-interest.

Malaysia sorely needs changes to make it a country that truly cares. Healthcare, for example, is a major misnomer. Walk into any government hospital, especially in densely populated areas, you will be drowned in shame looking at the long hours one has to wait to seek medical attention.

Retirees spend the entire day in hospital on their appointment day, hobbling from building to building doing various tests and getting medications. Connections between buildings are poorly planned and some hospitals haven't looked at the need for seamless wheelchair connectivity within the hospital.

At the emergency section, to see the doctor and complete the cycle can take anything up to four hours.

Some will and allocation will go a long way in addressing this situation at hospitals. The country has grown, and we have a huge unaccounted-for number of foreigners draining our resources and allocations are not increasing.

Just the resolve to make a difference in the way we serve the people can change the status quo and healthcare is just one of the many areas in which we need to streamline our attention for a nation that screams of inclusivity that isn't happening.